Robert Rauschenberg (born Milton Ernest Rauschenberg) was born on October 22, 1925 in Port Arthur, Texas. After his study of pharmacy was interrupted by getting drafted into the Second World War, Rauschenberg enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute as well as the Academie Julian in Paris to study art. He eventually left both schools to enroll in Black Mountain College, where he studied painting under Josef Albers. Soon after, Rauschenberg moved to New York and studied with the Art Students League, where he met fellow artist Cy Twombly, who would remain one of Rauschenberg’s closest and most intimate friends throughout his life and an inspiration for his work.
Rauschenberg worked in a variety of media, such as painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and even performance art, often mixing several different types of media into one piece. Rauschenberg is perhaps best remembered for his “combines” which combine a series of found objects and painted canvases, often creating a dubious assortment of objects with a confusing, unclear message.